Residence Sunflowers – Part 1 – The Neighbourhood

Today was a nice day, and I decided to take my camera and dance a bit around the row of sunflowers that my father has planted this year. I think we will plant them every year, they are beautiful and bees and bumblebees love them, as well as a plethora of other creatures. So this week stay tuned for some pictures from that.

This is the whole lot, looking east in the morning.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

Holidays: Park Güell: Straight Lines are of the Devil

The last pics from Park Güell. The columns make your head somewhat dizzy, and we have a bunch of silly tourist pics where the kids try to keep them from falling over of where I aligned the camera with the columns and the kids “slide down”. No pics of the kids on the net, though.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Apparently even the trees decided to play along…

The Art of Book Design: Mighty Mikko: Finnish Folk and Fairy Tales, Part1

Parker Fillmore. Mighty Mikko: Finnish Folk Tales and Fairy Tales. Illustrated by Jay Van Everen. New York : Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1922.

I’m overdue for highlighting Finnish Fairy Tales so our book this week contains a wealth of old Finnish folk stories translated for an English-speaking audience. Illustrator Jay Van Everen breathes life into the stories using graphic, modern drawings with geometric and abstract elements. There is only 1 colour plate in Mighty Mikko, but Van Everen was best known for his bright, colourful abstract paintings. Nonetheless, Van Everen’s black and white drawings for Mighty Mikko are bold and full of interest. The artist uses 2 different styles of illustration in the book – one for the first half of traditional tales and another for the second half of the book which contains the continuing saga of Mikko. Both styles are interesting and worth a good look so I’m going to break this post into 2 parts. Part 2 will be posted next Saturday.


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Packs of Goodies

I have decided to buy some new thingies for the ole workshope, and they arrived this week.

The thing that I was most looking forward to was a new respirator. The one I use these last few years has some serious issues – the strap that goes around the head is just one strip of elastic and it really hurts when worn for a longer time. I also have problems with sealing – but not around the beard as the manufacturers of these things like to warn, but around the nose, where it is too wide and soft. The new one seems to fit well, but I did not get around to test it in action yet. The load on the head is spread on two solid strips so that should be better too. Here you can see my staring into the void wearing that thing. It does feel quite comfortable, today I shall see how it feels when worn longer and doing actual work.

Another safety-related thingie that I bought is a stand for my angle grinder. I have been mulling this over for about a year but decided finally to buy it because by coincidence I have seen it at my friends’ garage and he confirmed that it does in fact work as advertised and is compatible with my tool. It is assembled now, but it probably won’t get into any real action before the next batch of knives.

When at it, I also bought a mini-vice with a swivel ball joint at the base. I hope it makes manufacturing and finishing of fiddly little things easier. It came right with plastic soft jaws and at a glance seems to be exactly the thing I have needed for a long time by now.

There were other small things in the packet not worth extra mention, but one other thing is. Unexpectedly I have also received a nice big package from Marcus, who was so very kind and has sent me two pieces of steel rope damascus and a piece of stabilized maple to play with. That is simply grand, because it will take some time before I can make my own damascus (if ever) and stabilized wood (on that one I am more confident). So big thanks to Marcus, after my currently running projects are done, I already know what will come next.

I am realizing that instead of pretty pictures I am serving you mostly things from my workshop but as you can imagine that is where I concentrate most of my effort these days and I did not have time to play ft with my camera for quite a long time by now.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

A friend of my mom’s came to sit with her this afternoon, giving Jack and I a nice block of time to get out of town and go for a much-needed forest walk. Jack’s been very patient with the change in his routine, but he hasn’t been his usual cheerful self so I wanted to fix that. I’m pretty sure he had a good time.

The Art of Book Design: Olga Romanov


Olga Romanoff or The Syren of the Skies. A Sequel to “The Angel of the Revolution.” George Griffith. London: Tower Publishing Company Limited, 1894. First edition, first issue.

This book is a futuristic science fiction story told in melodramatic Victorian prose. The story was originally serialized in Pearson’s Weekly of London.


Cover photo via: Books and Art

The book is available to read at Project Gutenberg Australia

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

The light was lousy this morning and Jack was on leash which means I shoot one-handed, so I consider this photo mostly just a test shot, but there it is again… the water stone that replaced my little pond at the park. I’ve been walking around it for a few days now, framing it from different angles and I admit it’s growing on me. I still don’t like the square base that it’s set in, but it does looks pretty when it’s framed by the gazebo. They’ve also turned up the water volume a bit and it makes a lovely burbling sound now which is nice. The stone itself also has some interesting angles that I want to explore. I still miss the koi and the tadpoles, but that’s life isn’t it. All things come and go and wishing it different won’t make it so. It took me a while, but I’m finally adjusting to this hunk of rock and just maybe I’m even learning to like it.

The Art of Book Design: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Washington Irving. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Cover Art by Margaret Armstrong. New York, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1899.

The art nouveau cover of this 1899 edition of the classic book bears little resemblance to the plain editions that preceded it or to its many subsequent dark and creepy covers.


Cover photo via: Books and Art

The book is available to read at The Internet Archive

Jack’s Walk

Unflappable ©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s been my experience that herons are notoriously hard to get close to. They seem to see you coming a mile away and either long-leg it in the other direction or take flight. Not this guy. He’s at the park every morning in about the same spot and people just don’t seem to faze him. In that photo up there I’m about 10 meters away on the other side of the creek with Jack at my feet. Now, Jack is a calm sort of guy so he’s being quiet, but he’s already been in the creek splashing around a bit upstream and the heron looked at him once or twice and shrugged. Jack seems a bit in awe of the bird and always watches him closely. He’s either a bit intimidated or he’s trying to figure out his fishing technique. My bet is on the latter.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

My boy was all HappyJack™ this morning playing in the creek at the park. It isn’t my favourite place for him to swim because the water can be a bit smelly, but a quick dousing with the outdoor hose at home takes care of that easily enough. After the hosing Jack smells like an ordinary wet dog, which isn’t exactly odour-free, but it is familiar and I find it oddly comforting. Water equals pleasure for Jack and the whiffs of wet afterward tell me that my boy is tired and happy.

Jack fell asleep soon after getting home today (he is 11 after all) and I’m sure he’s dreaming about paddling and floating and maybe even catching a fish. I hope your day is filled with simple pleasures, too.